As a film blogger, I know full well that what I do falls into nebulous territory; I don’t create art, I simply critique it. In CHEF, Jon Favreau explores the relationship between the creator and the reviewer with a foodie edge, following a chef who has lost his culinary spark and fallen into a rut preparing an uninspired menu at the behest of the restaurateur who bankrolls him (Dustin Hoffman). After receiving national critical attention for his food and his social media outbursts, Favreau finds that a food truck might just repair his joy for cooking, as well as his strained relationship with his family. With a finger squarely on the pulse of the social media marketing landscape, Favreau has tapped in to a timely energy that feels oddly absent in the modern film landscape.
To his credit, at least on a personal level, Favreau does not come down too harshly on critics; he finds them a necessary, if sometimes frustrating part of the creative community. Well written, expertly acted, and lovingly directed, CHEF is small and passionate project from a director who has sidetracked his career from creative films to popular films in recent years. In this way, CHEF is Favreau’s food truck. Add this one to your must-see list!
Austinites should also love the pit stops at Franklin BBQ and Guero’s Taco Bar, as well as the performance by Gary Clark Jr.
CHEF is in theaters Friday, 5/9/2014.